Longwood University alumni will have a major influence on improving public education in the commonwealth as members of the new Virginia Governor’s Teacher Cabinet.

One-fifth of the teachers selected for the cabinet (five out of 23) are Longwood University graduates. The cabinet will focus on creating strategies to enhance teacher quality, leadership and professionalism to meet the demands of 21st century learning.

Longwood alumni on the cabinet are Catherine McCoy Collier ’89, a reading specialist at Great Bridge Primary School in Chesapeake; Lisa Brodie Williams ’91, an English teacher at Maggie L. Walker Governor’s School in Richmond; James Popek ’92, a marketing education teacher at Halifax High School in Halifax County; Artice Appling ’01, a math teacher at Manchester Middle School in Chesterfield County; and Paige Gregory Tucker ’11, a language arts teacher at Robious Middle School in Chesterfield County.

"The Governor’s Teachers Cabinet will play a pivotal role in advising our administration about new strategies and ideas to enhance teacher quality and professionalism, increase parent and community involvement, reduce administrative burden, and close the achievement gap," said Gov. Bob McDonnell. "Our teachers know what works and what doesn’t. Through the creation of the Teachers Cabinet we will be able to hear directly from them, and Virginia’s public school system will be stronger because of their advice and input."

Longwood’s teacher preparation program, routinely ranked as one of the best in the commonwealth, was recently one of only 92 programs in the nation recognized for excellence in the field by the National Council on Teacher Quality. "Longwood has a tradition of preparing some of the best and brightest educators in Virginia," said Dr. Paul Chapman, dean of the College of Education and Human Services. "Our teacher preparation program produces highly-qualified and well-respected educators who have always answered the call to serve in leadership roles. Leadership is imbedded in the Longwood University tradition."

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